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Korean Advancement, Russian Response

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
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While word on the Trion Worlds adaptation of ArcheAge has gone quiet again, partly due to the holidays, it seems the Russian and Korean versions have been getting a bit of attention. Russian ArcheAge fans were able to spend some time in their localization of the game, while Korea is gearing up for an update that brings some more tweaks and longevity into the formula. Let’s jump into both topics, shall we?

Korea Gears Up

A new video for XLGames’ ArcheAge update in Korea surfaced recently (less than 12 hours from my writing this, even), showing off some new armors and abilities.

According to an MMOCulture report on the update, players will be getting a level cap increase – from 50  to 55 – and revamped statistics. The library dungeon we’ve mentioned previously here has bosses that will reportedly drop either recipes or new weapons and items, though that hasn’t been made completely clear yet.

The report also says PVP arenas will become available for players to engage in one-on-one combat. The arena battles will apparently feature a sort of dueling tower defense aspect, where you can either choose to take down an opponent or destroy a crystal structure the opposing player is supposed to protect to win a match. Two match wins against your opponent nets a player victory in the arena setting.

Russian Assessment

Aside from Korea, Russia has had some time with the game as well. The ArcheAge Source forums hosted a translated article from the ArcheAge-Online.de forums during the holiday weeks. The article took stock of how the game was in Russia’s beta from the eyes of someone who was knowledgeable about the Korean and Japanese versions of the game.

Here are the notable highlights from the translation, for those of you who want a rundown:

  1. Mail.ru has its own in-house launcher for the ArcheAge client.
  2. The regular beta woes of overcrowded starting zones was present here, though the servers remained stable and issues disappeared as people spread out.
  3. Russia looks to be using a free-to-play model where people can basically “subscribe” for VIP benefits and buy stuff through a cash shop. Players buy crystals from mail.ru, then redeem crystals for VIP game time or use them to buy cash shop items.
  4. VIP players earn a buff that lets them regenerate labor points and amass a larger total of labor points than non-paying players. the buff also speeds up EXP and crafting experience gain.
  5. Current reports say there aren’t any “pay-to-win” items in the shop. There’s also no word on earning crystals through play yet.
  6. Gameplay does not differ from Japanese or Korean versions, but reportedly feels longer than Korean leveling.
  7. Gold-bought items are priced in-between or close to Japanese equivalents rather than Korean prices. If Japan sells a farming house blueprint for 100 gold and Korea 50, then Russia sells it for 85.
  8. While some features from Korea are missing (racecars and fishing were mentioned), other features from game updates are intact, such as the number of areas on a continent. One feature noted in Russia that isn’t working yet and isn’t in Korea’s version, according to the translation: item sockets.
  9. Item decay is not in Russia’s version, but an alchemic feature discovered was the ability to turn gold coins into gold dust for use in crafting high-level items.

More Questions for Trion Worlds

What does this mean for English-speaking players? Here are my takeaways and questions, and I hope to one day hear some thoughtful answers on these.

Since Mail.ru has its own leveling curve and its own pricing differences, it’s highly likely Trion’s ArcheAge will have its own curve and in-game commodities pricing. Assuming Trion is using data on player habits from its existing games, what would Trion Worlds’ data on player spending and gameplay habits among English-speaking gamers imply in terms of how the company will tweak its world economy and leveling rates?

In terms of monetization, will Trion adopt a its existing RIFT and Defiance mechanisms for its ArcheAge revenue model? It already seems awfully similar to the Mail.ru one, save for the differences in how they might build and secure the account and launching systems for the game.

On the Korean side of things, I also want to know this: Will Trion’s localization have the updates of the upcoming Korean update in its database? I certainly would like to beat a living book into submission with a sword sooner rather than later.

Here’s to hoping we hear more soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out the ArcheAge Source translation linked above for pictures from the Russian beta.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate column, as well as the ArcheAge and Everquest Next columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.